Glossary Law

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There are 46 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
The total of cost, insurance and freight charges to be paid on goods purchased and shipped.

Capital assets
Equipment, property, and funds owned by a business.

Capital punishment
Execution (death) for a capital offense.

Short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the right to sue.

Case law
Reported decisions of appeals courts and other courts which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents.

Case of first impression
A case in which a question of interpretation of law is presented which has never arisen before in any reported case.

From latin causa 1) to make something happen. 2) the reason something happens. A cause implies what is called a “causal connection” as distinguished from events which may occur but do not have any effect on later events.

Cause of action
The basis of a lawsuit founded on legal grounds and alleged facts which, if proved, would constitute all the “elements” required by statute.

A writ (order) of a higher court to a lower court to send all the documents in a case to it so the higher court can review the lower court’s decision.

The private office of a judge, usually close to the courtroom so that the judge can enter the court from behind the bench and not encounter people on the way.

From the old english legal system, a chancellor is a judge who sits in what is called a chancery (equity) court with the power to order something to be done (as distinguished from just paying damages).

1) In a criminal case, the specific statement of what crime the party is accused (charged with) contained in the indictment or criminal complaint. 2) In jury trials, the oral instructions by the judge to the jurors just before the jury begins deliberations.

That part of the law that encompasses business, contracts, estates, domestic (family) relations, accidents, negligence and everything related to legal issues, statutes and lawsuits, that is not criminal law.

Civil action
Any lawsuit relating to civil matters and not criminal prosecution.

Civil code
In many states, the name for the collection of statutes and laws which deal with business and negligence lawsuits and practices.

Civil law
A body of laws and legal concepts.

Civil liability
Potential responsibility for payment of damages or other court-enforcement in a lawsuit, as distinguished from criminal liability, which means open to punishment for a crime.

Civil penalties
Fines or surcharges imposed by a governmental agency to enforce regulations such as late payment of taxes, failure to obtain a permit, etc.

1) To make a demand for money, for property, or for enforcement of a right provided by law. 2) The making of a demand (asserting a claim) for money due, for property, from damages or for enforcement of a right. If such a demand is not honored, it may result in a lawsuit.

Commencement of action
An action (a lawsuit) commences (begins officially) when the party suing files a written complaint or petition with the clerk of the court.

Commercial law
All the law which applies to the rights, relations and conduct of persons and businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade and sales.

Common law
The traditional unwritten law of England, based on custom and usage, which began to develop over a thousand years before the founding of the united States.

The act of reducing a criminal sentence resulting from a criminal conviction.

The first document filed with the court by a person or entity claiming legal rights against another. The party filing the complaint is usually called the plaintiff and the party against whom the complaint is filed is called the defendant or defendants.

An agreement between opposing parties to settle a dispute or reach a settlement in which each gives some ground, rather than continue the dispute or go to trial.

Fraudulent failure to reveal information which someone knows and is aware that in good faith he/she should communicate to another.

Conclusion of law
A judge’s final decision on a question of law which has been raised in a trial or a court hearing, particularly those issues which are vital to reaching a statement.

Concurrent sentences
Sentences for more than one crime which are to be served at one time.

The legal process by which a governmental body exercises its right of “eminent domain” to acquire private property for public uses (highways, schools, redevelopment, etc.).

A term or requirement stated in a contract, which must be met for the other party to have the duty to fulfill his/her obligations.

In criminal law, to voluntarily state that one is guilty of a criminal offense. This admission may be made to a law enforcement officer or in court either prior to or upon arrest, or after the person is charged with a specific crime.

To take one’s goods or property without legal right, although there may appear to be some lawful basis.

A group of separate businesses or business people joining together and cooperating to complete a project, work together to perform a contract or conduct an on-going business.

When people work together by agreement to commit an illegal act.

Contingent beneficiary
A person or entity named to receive a gift under the terms of a will, trust or insurance policy, who will only receive that gift if a certain event occurs or a certain set of circumstances happen.

1) To find guilty of a crime after a trial. 2) A person who has been convicted of a felony and sent to prison.

Corpus juris
The body of the law, meaning a compendium of all laws, cases and the varied interpretations of them.

Counter offer
An offer made in response to a previous offer by the other party during negotiations for a final contract.

1) The judge 2) Any official tribunal (court) presided over by a judge or judges in which legal issues and claims are heard and determined.

Court of law
Any tribunal within a judicial system.

In old common law, the right of a surviving husband to a life estate in the lands of his deceased wife, if they had a surviving child or children who would inherit the land.

A violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties.

Criminal justice
A generic term for the procedure by which criminal conduct is investigated, evidence gathered, arrests made, charges brought, defenses raised, trials conducted, sentences rendered and punishment carried out.

Criminal law
Those statutes dealing with crimes against the public and members of the public, with penalties and all the procedures connected with charging, trying, sentencing and imprisoning defendants convicted of crimes.

Sufficiently responsible for criminal acts or negligence to be at fault and liable for the conduct.

1) Holding property under one’s control. 2) Law enforcement officials’ act of holding an accused or convicted person in criminal proceedings, beginning with the arrest of that person. 3) In domestic relations (divorce, dissolution) a court’s determination of which parent (or other appropriate party) should have physical and/or legal control and responsibility for a minor child.
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